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What is EURES



Area - 92,212 km2

Population – 10,276,617 (2018)

Official Language – Portuguese


Residence of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and members of their families

For a period of residence of up to three months, there are no conditions and formalities other than the need to hold an identity document (identity card/citizen’s card) or passport valid in the country of origin. Direct family members of an EU/EEA/Swiss national who hold one of these documents enjoy the same rights.

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who intend to live in Portugal for over three months must register within 30 days of the end of their first three months in the country at the Municipal Council for the area in which they live. When they register they are issued with a registration certificate, which is valid for five years or for the period of residence if less than five years.

The issuing of a certificate of registration requires a valid identity document or passport and a sworn declaration that the applicant:

  • is working under a contract of employment or is self-employed in Portugal; or
  • has sufficient resources for himself and for his family; or
  • is registered in an officially recognised public or private education establishment and has sufficient resources to maintain himself/herself and his/her family.

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who live in Portugal as family members must ask the Câmara Municipal (local council) for the area in which they live for a registration certificate. Before these can be issued, a valid identity document or passport, a document proving the family relationship, and the registration certificate of the EU/EEA/Swiss national they are accompanying or going to join must be presented.

Family members of an EU/EEA/Swiss national who are nationals of a third country and whose stay in Portugal extends beyond three months, must apply for a residency card from the SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras [Foreign Nationals and Borders Service]), by making an appointment in advance: telephone numbers 808 202 653 (landline) / 808 962 690 (mobile network), every business day from 8.00 to 20.00; by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Before the residency card can be issued, a valid passport, a document confirming the family relationship and the registration certificate of the EU/EEA/Swiss national they are accompanying or going to join must be presented.

Text last edited on: 06/2019


It is still not easy to find a job in Portugal if you do not speak Portuguese.

Before deciding to travel to Portugal to find a job, contact the EURES services in your country and they will be able to give you up-to-date information on the job market in Portugal. If you are already in Portugal, you can look for a job in:

Employment services

The public employment service in mainland Portugal (IEFP – Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional, I.P. [Employment and Vocational Training Institute]) has a network of 83 local employment services (addresses available at www.iefp.pt/redecentros). You can register with an employment service and get information on job offers throughout the country. To do so, you must present an identity card/citizen’s card or, if you are a citizen of a country of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, a valid identity card or passport from your country.

You can also enrol in and access job opportunities notified to IEFP at iefponline (https://iefponline.iefp.pt/).

Temporary employment agencies

Taking a temporary job may be a first step towards finding a more stable job. For that purpose you can also use temporary employment agencies, which assign their employees to other companies.

The contact details of temporary employment agencies authorised to carry out this activity in Portugal are regularly updated on the IEFP Portal at www.iefp.pt/empresas-trabalho-temporario.

Written press

Portuguese companies also make great use of the national and regional press to advertise their recruitment needs. The most widely used national newspapers are: Jornal de Notícias, Correio da Manhã and Público, which publish job offers in a variety of sectors on a daily basis. The newspaper Expresso publishes job offers each week for managerial and specialist staff, executives and consultants in the ‘ExpressoEmprego’ section. In general, these newspapers also have online versions of their Classified Ads or Employment sections in easily searchable job agencies.

Internet: job agencies

Portuguese employers advertise their job offers on various websites. The most widely used websites can be found under Related Topics.

Social networks

Employers and recruitment companies in Portugal increasingly use platforms such as LinkedIn to find potential candidates, particularly in segments requiring higher education qualifications. To ensure a (considered) presence on LinkedIn it is therefore increasingly important to ensure that you are being seen and are accessible to potential employers and recruiters.

Speculative applications

Many of the jobs available are not advertised. A speculative application is one of the ways you can use to let employers know about your skills.


Incomes and taxation

IRS – Imposto sobre os Rendimentos de Pessoas Singulares [personal income tax]

IRS is assessed annually. Annual IRS tax returns relate to income received in the preceding year and must be filed between 1 April and 31 May. Returns are filed electronically only, via the Finance Portal.

A Tax Identification Number [NIF] is required, which can be obtained from the tax authorities by presenting a valid civil identity document or passport (from the country of nationality).

IRS is levied on the value of the following categories of income:

Category A – Income from employment

Category B – Income from business and professional services

Category E – Investment income

Category F – Income from property

Category G – Capital gains

Category H – Pensions

Residents are subject to IRS on income earned anywhere in the world. You will be considered to be tax-resident in Portugal for a given tax year if:

  1. you remain in Portugal for more than 183 days (consecutive or intermittent) during the tax year;
  2. having remained in Portugal for a shorter period, on any given date of that tax year you have accommodation such as to suggest that you intend it to be a permanent residence;
  3. on 31 December, you are a member of the crew of a vessel or aircraft providing a service to bodies domiciled or based in or actually managed from Portugal.

All members of a family are considered to be resident in Portugal if the person responsible for the family lives in Portugal.

Portugal has bilateral agreements with other EU/EEA Member States to avoid double taxation on income. If you earn income in another Member State you will therefore have to pay tax on that income only in that country.

Married taxpayers who are not separated or living separately, and unmarried couples, may choose to submit their annual tax return jointly or separately. This includes all income earned in or outside Portugal, including the income of dependants and people who are considered to be part of the household. Unmarried taxpayers pay tax individually.

Deductions are made from taxable income, including: health expenditure and expenditure on health insurance; education and vocational training expenditure (of the taxpayer and of dependants); vocational rehabilitation expenditure (of the taxpayer and any dependants with a disability); nursing home expenditure (relating to ascendant relatives or dependants); costs relating to property (rent), for dependants and ascendant relatives, and particularly those with a disability, in the family; maintenance payment sums; general family expenditure and other expenditure for which the taxpayer has required an invoice bearing the tax identification number. Deductions may also be made with reference to tax allowances and to avoid international double taxation (where the taxpayer receives income that has already been taxed in another country).

The employer deducts a percentage of the employee’s monthly salary (‘tax deduction at source’) depending on their marital status and number of dependants. A sum of 25 % is deducted from the salary of non-residents (see the International Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements).

Income tax rates vary according to a seven-point scale of annual income, and in 2017 ranged from 14.5 % for income below EUR 7 091 to 48.0 % for income in excess of EUR 80 640.

For further information, visit the Finance Portal or consult your Tax Office.

VAT – Value Added Tax [IVA]

Purchases and sales and imports of goods and services are subject to VAT. The applicable rates vary according to the type of goods and services: 6 % for some foodstuffs, certain medicines and other pharmaceutical products; hotel accommodation; passenger transport, urban construction and restoration work and other basic necessities; 13 % for entertainment tickets, fuel and some foodstuffs, among other items; 23 % for other goods and services. The rates applicable in the autonomous regions have been reduced to 5 %, 12 % and 22 % in Madeira and to 4 %, 9 % and 18 % in the Azores.

Text last edited on: 06/2019


The following is a range of prices given as a reference for normal monthly expenditure:

Water: prices vary according to the municipality. Using Lisbon as the benchmark, rates vary according to levels of consumption:

  • Up to 5 m3/month: EUR 0.4055/m3 (plus 6 % VAT)
  • From 6 to 15 m3/month: EUR 0.7584/m3 (plus 6 % VAT)
  • From 16 to 25 m3/month: EUR 1.7846/m3 (plus 6 % VAT)
  • More than 25 m3/month: EUR 2.2602/m3 (plus 6 % VAT)

Electricity: you can currently choose an operator from the open market. Prices vary according to the contracted power and supply times. Example of the rates of EDP Comercial (the oldest operator on the market) – BTN (Normal Low Voltage), for a contracted power of 20.7 kVA, simple tariff, EUR 0.1580/kWh for the energy cost, plus a standing charge (EUR 1.0101/day) plus 23 % VAT.

Natural gas: the Lisboagás rate is EUR 0.0499/kWh; for consumption of 270 kW over a period of 30 days, a monthly total of EUR 21.37, with the land use tax amount and 23 % VAT being included in the bill.

Fuel: prices in Portugal are adjusted in line with changes in the price of a barrel of oil, and the price can vary from place to place. The current minimum and maximum prices are given below:

  • 95 octane petrol (litre): from EUR 1.479 to EUR 1.574
  • 98 octane petrol (litre): from EUR 1.459 to EUR 1.554
  • Diesel (litre): from EUR 1.304 to EUR 1.399.

Food and drink in the supermarket: since prices vary considerably, the average minimum and maximum prices are indicated for certain products in a typical shopping basket:

  • Milk (1 litre): EUR 0.48 to EUR 1.49
  • Bread (1 kg): EUR 1.25 to EUR 3.75
  • Eggs (6): EUR 0.79 to EUR 2.09
  • Meat (pork, 1 kg): EUR 2.67 to EUR 12.90
  • Meat (beef, 1 kg): EUR 7.48 to EUR 24.95
  • Salted cod (1 kg): EUR 5.61 to EUR 22.00
  • Fish (hake, 1 kg): EUR 4.98 to EUR 11.95
  • Oranges (1 kg): EUR 0.65 to EUR 1.99
  • Apples (1 kg): EUR 0.49 to EUR 2.99
  • Potatoes (1 kg): EUR 0.30 to EUR 3.27
  • Beer (1 litre): EUR 0.89 to EUR 1.99
  • Bottle of wine (75 cl): EUR 0.99 to EUR 37.50
  • Coca-Cola (1 litre): EUR 1.00 to EUR 1.44

Leisure/free time

  • Cup of coffee (espresso): EUR 0.60 to EUR 1.00
  • Cinema ticket: EUR 5.00 to EUR 7.00
  • Theatre ticket: EUR 7.50 to EUR 22.50
  • Big Mac (McMenu): EUR 4.80
  • Snack bar meal: EUR 6.00 to EUR 8.00
  • Restaurant (2nd category) meal: EUR 12.00 to EUR 25.00


  • Daily, local or regional newspaper: EUR 1.00 to EUR 1.60
  • Toothpaste (75 ml): EUR 0.63 to EUR 4.55

National minimum wage (monthly) – EUR 600.00

Text last edited on: 06/2019


The Ministry of Education (primary and secondary education) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (higher education) are responsible for the Portuguese education system, with the support of the Ministry of Employment, Solidarity and Social Security in the case of preschool education.

Preschool education

For children between the ages of three and five, preschool attendance is optional. It is provided by nursery schools, which are run by a variety of State organisations, private social solidarity institutions, private schools and cooperatives, unions and other organisations.

Compulsory schooling

Compulsory schooling is free and runs up to the 12th year, or until the child reaches the age of 18.

Primary education normally covers children and young people between six and 15 years of age and comprises three consecutive cycles: the 1st cycle (four years) provides a general education, with a single teacher (sometimes supported in specialised areas); the 2nd cycle (two years) and the 3rd cycle (three years) are taught by a single teacher per subject or multidisciplinary educational field.

Secondary education comprises three years of education (10th, 11th and 12th years of schooling) and is compulsory up to 18 years of age. It is geared towards anyone who intends to continue studying or to join the labour market. It includes science and humanities and specialised arts courses, and technological or vocational training courses or even custom-designed courses, and is provided by secondary schools and vocational schools.

Many vocational training courses issue school and vocational certificates, allowing compulsory schooling to be completed via this route.

Higher education

Higher education in Portugal includes universities and polytechnics. The academic year generally begins in September/October.

Students can study to the level of Licenciado [Bachelor’s degree] (1st cycle), Mestre [Master’s degree] (2nd cycle) and Doutor [PhD] (3rd cycle).

Undergraduate courses last for three years on average, and Master’s from one to two years. There are also five-year Integrated Master’s courses, leading directly to the Master’s degree.

Admission to higher education institutions depends on the number of vacancies available and is regulated by the national entrance exam.

Applications are normally submitted online in July and early August via the website of the Directorate-General for Higher Education. In order to be accepted, EU/EEA/Swiss nationals must hold an academic qualification equivalent to the 12th year of schooling.

Equivalence/Recognition of academic qualifications

To obtain a direct comparison or equivalence between your qualifications and those recognised in Portugal, you should contact:

  • the Direção de Serviços de Desenvolvimento Curricular – Equipa de Concessão de Equivalências [Directorate for Curricular Development – Equivalence Team], at the Directorate-General for Education in Lisbon, for basic or secondary qualifications;
  • or NARIC Portugal for higher education diplomas.

Applications for equivalence/recognition must be submitted to a pedagogically autonomous basic or secondary education establishment, respectively, or to the scientific board of a higher education establishment offering equivalent courses. Applications are treated on a case-by-case basis.


The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers

The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.

Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU

As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.

For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.

Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe

The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:

  • An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
  • The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.

Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU

Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.

In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.

  1. The European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.

  1. The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs)

A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.

  1. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.

  1. Europass

Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents

  • a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  • a language passport,
  • certificate supplements,
  • diploma supplements, and
  • a Europass-Mobility document.

The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.


www.portugal.gov.pt - Government of Portugal

www.sef.pt - Immigration Service

www.iefp.pt - National Employment Agency

www.min-edu.pt - Ministry of Education

www..seg-social.pt - Social Security

www.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt - Taxation




















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